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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS students win Innovation prize
2007-11-05

 

From the left are, front: Kasey Kakoma (member of the winning team) and Ji-Yun Lee (member of the winning team); back: Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk (Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS), Lehlohonolo Mathengtheng (member of the winning team) and Prof. Gerrit van Wyk (consultant from Technology Transfer Projects who arranged the first phase of the competition).
Photo (Leonie Bolleurs):
 

UFS students win Innovation prize

Prizes to the value of R100 000 were recently handed to students in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) during a prize winners function of the National Innovation Competition.
“The competition is sponsored by the Innovation Fund, which was established by the national Department of Science and Technology and is managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The competition seeks to develop innovation and entrepreneurship amongst students in higher education institutions,” said Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector of Academic Operations at the UFS.

Most universities in South Africa take part in the competition. “The first phase of the competition is per university where students can win prize money to the value of R100 000. The three winners then compete in the national competition, where prize money to the value of R600 000 can be won,” said Prof. Verschoor.

Eight teams from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences competed in the local competition. The teams had to submit a business plan, which was judged by six external adjudicators.

The winning team from the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology submitted their business plan with the title: “Using bacteriophages to combat specific bacterial infections in poultry". The team, consisting of Kasey Kakoma from Zambia, Lehlohonolo Mathengtheng from South Africa, and Ji-Yun Lee from South Korea, were awarded R50 000 in cash. All three students are Master’s degree students in Microbiology in the Veterinary Biotechnology Research group at the UFS.

The team who came second was from the Department of Physics with team leader Lisa Coetzee and they received R30 000. The title of their project was “Light of the future”. The third prize of R20 000 went to Lizette Jordaan of the Department of Chemistry with a project entitled: “Development of a viable synthetic route towards a natural substrate with possible application in the industry”.

Prof. Gerrit van Wyk, former dean of the UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and consultant for Technology Transfer Projects, annually drives this competition.

In his announcement of the winners of the first phase of the 2007 National Innovation Competition, Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, said innovation and entrepreneurship are important to stimulate and create sustainable economic growth in South Africa. “Through this competition universities get the opportunity to show to South Africa its capabilities in the arena of innovation and commercialisation of ideas,” he said.

To proceed to the second phase of the competition, the business plans of the three finalists from each qualifying higher education institution will be submitted for the national competition. The best three students from each participating institution will exhibit their innovations at the national awards ceremony early in 2008. The top ten entrants and subsequently the best three business plans from the total entries will then be short listed. The prize money won at the national competition has to be used for the commercialisation of the project or the founding of a company.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
5 November 2007
 

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